EMDR as a Special Form of Ego State Psychotherapy

The Ego State Shift and EMDR

After the desensitization is completed, reprocessing then begins in order to resolve the initial problem. The patient is asked to image the initial problematic scene (which is now anxiety free) and to think about a positive, desirable cognition, again while following the left/right alternations. After repeated sets of processing, the patient experiences the positive cognition as being highly valid in the context of the original problematic image.

The positive desired cognition is the cognitive component of a new ego state, which will resolve the initial difficulty that contributed to the maintenance of the dissociative barrier. When the positive cognition feels valid in the context of the original problematic situation, then a therapeutic ego state shift has occurred, and a new ego state with a positive cognition is now linked to the original image. This process is parallel to the ego state shift technique discussed above, except that just the cognitive component is addressed here, and the shift is facilitated through the left/right alternations, rather than through the imagistic process alone.

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